The Nov. 16 Economy & Business article “Cordray to quit consumer agency post” was heavily weighted with language critical of the work of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which is to protect consumers from predatory financial institutions. The article referred to agency rules as “aggressive,” “excessive” and “rigorous.” It heavily quoted critics, both Republicans and financial services executives, and reflected the view that CFPB rules “strangle growth” and that “sweeping regulatory relief” is needed. Of the 16 paragraphs, only one quoted a supporter of the agency other than outgoing director Richard Cordray: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who called Mr. Cordray “a tireless watchdog for American consumers.”
The current administration repeatedly states that regulations hinder growth, reflecting a business-friendly perspective. Yet these regulations were established to protect consumers against dangerous practices and prevent another financial crisis. Repeated use of business-friendly terminology such as “excessive rulemaking” should be balanced equally with consumer-oriented language such as “strong protections.” The article used “rules” or “regulations” 15 times yet did not use “protections” once. Language matters. A balance was needed between critics complaining of excessive business regulations and supporters praising the strong protections for the American people.
Leonard Allen Jewler, Washington